Hundreds of motorists were stranded all night in snow and freezing temperatures along a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 after a crash involving six tractor-trailers in Virginia, where authorities were struggling Tuesday to reach them.
Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted that his team responded through the night alongside state police, transportation and emergency management officials. "An emergency message is going to all stranded drivers connecting them to support, and the state is working with localities to open warming shelters as needed. While sunlight is expected to help @VaDOT clear the road, all Virginians should continue to avoid 1-95," he added.
The tractor-trailer collision Monday afternoon caused no injuries, but brought traffic to a standstill, and it became impossible to move as the snow accumulated. Hours passed with hundreds of motorists posting increasingly desperate messages on social media about running out of fuel, food and water.
Between 7 and 11 inches of snow accumulated in the area during Monday's blizzard, according to the National Weather Service, and thousands of accidents and stranded vehicles were reported throughout central and northern Virginia. As of 3:30 p.m. Monday, Virginia State Police said troopers had responded to more than 2,000 calls for service due to treacherous road conditions.
The agency tweeted to the stranded drivers on Monday that reinforcements were arriving from other states to help get them moving again.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.